At a March 18 meeting in San Francisco, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) approved the creation of a top-level domain -- .xxx for sites dedicated to pornography and obscenity.

As PCWorld put it, The adult entertainment industry now has a home on the Internet: It's called .xxx.

The Family Research Council has opposed the creation of the .xxx porn ghetto for years, and we are profoundly disappointed that this measure was approved. We believe that ICANNs action legitimizes hardcore pornography by giving it a designated location on the internet.

The Obama Administration appeared to want to have it both ways on this issue. According to a Politico story:

The Obama administration has not taken a public position on .xxx. Asked about the issue [the week of the vote], a spokeswoman for the Commerce Department's National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) said: It is premature for us to comment at this time.

(Premature the week of the vote.) However, the head of NTIA, Lawrence Strickling, is quoted on a Fox website voicing opposition: This decision goes against the global public interest, and it will open the door to more Internet blocking by governments and undermine the stability and security of the Internet. Apparently, the Administration is worried that nations like Saudi Arabia will just block the entire domain establishing a negative precedent for non-interference with the Internet. It does not appear that any objections were raised within the Obama Administration to the proposal based on its making online obscenity legitimate, more prevalent, or easier to locate and obtain.

I realize that this is not a subject with which many readers will be familiar. Technical issues like this can really have the feel of inside baseball. Here are a three articles that will help the reader get an idea of the major problems with .xxx. Jan LaRue, an attorney who used to work at the Family Research Council, wrote this piece for Human Events in 2005 (Will the Department of Commerce OK a XXX Internet Domain?) pointing out many flaws in the .xxx concept and policy proposal. Also, Bob Peters of Morality in Media has set forth his organizations objections to .xxx in this news release (Why a XXX top-level domain wont work) from June 2010. Pat Trueman, then of FRC in 2005 now at Morality in Media, wrote this article (.xxx Would Legitimize Porn) in USA Today opposing the .xxx domain.